Home Boxing News Oleksandr Usyk says he would have beaten the count if the referee...

Oleksandr Usyk says he would have beaten the count if the referee applied one

Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Piotr Duszczyk

WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) has no doubt he would have made it to his feet after being dropped by a low blow from Daniel Dubois 19-2 (18) if the punch had been ruled legal.

The 36-year-old Ukrainian southpaw was hit on the belt line by challenger Dubois in the fifth round of their championship fight in Poland on Saturday night.

Usyk hit the canvas and referee Luis Pabon ruled the blow illegal, giving Usyk five minutes to recover from his injury.

The unified heavyweight champion took his time before returning to the fray, dropping the 25-year-old Englishman in the eighth and stopping him in the ninth.

Boxing Twitter blew up with debate about whether the blow was, in fact, low. A straw poll shows fans are evenly split.

For Usyk, it’s a moot point. He says if Pabon administered a count he would have been back on his feet before the referee reached eight.

“For me, 100% if the referee started to count, I would have definitely jumped up,” Usyk said to Boxing King Media.

“I would be on my feet. It would be hard for me to recuperate and come back to my normal state, but there is no doubt that I would be up.”

Usyk cutman Russ Anber told Pro Boxing Fans that talk of the low blow dictating the result of the fight was a storm in a teacup.

“I think it was a master class performance,” Ander said of Usyk. “It was a game effort all around by Dubois. He did what he had to do; he came to throw punches. But in the end, he was just up against a better fighter.

“That’s not to say Dubois didn’t put up a good fight. He tried, he did his best. But Usyk demonstrated why he’s a champion. He’s just that great.

“I said it before at the weigh-in and interviews: the rounds were competitive, but Usyk had to work for them. It was not a cakewalk by any means.”

Anber added that he thought Dubois should have been deducted points for the low blow.

“The belly button is the line for a low blow, plain and simple,” he explained. “Anything below that is a low blow, whether it’s in the bladder, the testicles, on the hips or the leg.

“There’s no ‘yeah, but it wasn’t that bad’. No, it’s not okay. Take a shot from Daniel Dubois, a 235-pound monster, right in your bladder—there’s no muscle there to absorb the blow.

“It’s laughable that instead of giving Usyk credit for his performance, there’s this talk of a rematch based on a claim of a low blow. It’s not okay.

“It’s not just about the physical pain Usyk had to deal with. It’s how we had to adjust our battle plan midway. Usyk was hitting his stride, setting his pace and then boom! The low blow occurs.

“Dubois is resting while Usyk is writhing in pain. That’s a complete momentum shift and that bothers me. It’s why I argued for a two-point deduction.”